Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THE AMBUSHERS - Hugo Montenegro - "Here It Comes" (1967)

"The Ambushers" released in 1967 is the third leg of the Matt Helm superfecta after "The Silencers," and "Murderer's Row!" The Fourth in the series is "The Wrecking Crew!"  "The Ambushers" is silly, stupid, and ridiculous, and I enjoyed every stinking minute of it!

Down in The Dungeon we just dabble with Dino info, but if you really want to know more about the man, then head on over to the I Love Dino Martin site,  you will not be disappointed!

Women, women, and more women, and after they run out of women, there's more women, and they're all beautiful!

The Guv'ment had a different kind of space program going on before anybody ever set foot on the moon! A perfect flying saucer, but not from space, but from right in the good ole U.S. of A!

But, as always, they're not the only ones who want to play, and the saucer is brought down on it's maiden flight by some powerful anti-gravity magnet ray emanating out of Mexico!

Inside the saucer in the pilot's seat is Janice Rule as Sheila Sommers! Janice was in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "Nightmare As A Child" as Helen Foley, and also in one of the strangest films I ever saw, "The Swimmer" starring Burt Lancaster! On the right is the man who wants to rule the world, and thinks hijacking this here saucer is a good starting place, Albert Salmi as the nefarious Jose Ortega aka Leopold Caselius! Albert has the rare distinction of being in not just one, but three "Twilight Zone" episodes, "Execution," "A Quality Of Mercy," and "Of Late I Think Of Cliffordville!"

We're trying to keep it down to 20 stills per movie, but I just couldn't do it on this one, so I decided to double up more than usual! I think you'll be able to understand and recognize the reasons why!

One of the newest contraptions they've developed at the Intelligence Counter Espionage Rehab Center is a bra, that when the strap is loosened, it shoots a bullet! Luckily for Matt Helm, it was only loaded with blanks this time!

Cutie Pie Beverly Adams shines in the role of Matt Helm's secretary Lovey Kravezit in the first three flicks, but she wasn't in the forth one for some reason! Beverly was also in "How To Stuff A Wild Bikini," "Devil's Angels," and "The Torture Garden!"

This is a demonstration of how the hand-held version of the anti-gravity magnet ray works!

Matt Helm's boss James Gregory as MacDonald fills him in on what's going down south of the border! I love the fact they're watching a 16mm film of a boxing match in his office, and Matt's eating popcorn just like he's at the movies! James Gregory was also in two "Twilight Zone" episodes himself, "Where Is Everybody," and "The Passerby!" This was the third time James played MacDonald, but he too was left out of the fourth film!

The sponsor for the fight is the Montezuma Brewing Company, and the owner is up to his ears in corruption and greed, and it's up to Matt to get to the bottom of it all! Here's what the jingle sounds like with an extra minute of some of the cool background sounds created by Space Age Pop star, and early moog stylist Hugo Montenegro!

Here's a look at a couple of Hugo's album covers!

Next Stop, Viva La Mexico!

The familiar face of  Kurt (Land Of The Giants) Kasznar is Quintana, the owner of the Montezuma Brewery! When Matt Helm goes out on assignment, his undercover job is that he's a freelance fashion photographer, and he's here to do a photo shoot with a revived Sheila Sommers as his wife, since she's the only one who can identify Jose Ortega! You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but Kurt Kasznar was nominated for a Tony Award for his contribution to the Broadway version of "Sound Of Music" in 1960!

I thought this was original, a member of this band has guns built into his maracas that are used in a feeble assassination attempt on Matt Helm!

Way ahead of it's time, information is sourced back to MacDonald via some future electronic system!

I read that Janice Rule said that this was THE worst movie she was ever in, and that she deeply regretted it! Too bad, because the fact that she looks so out of place is one of the things that makes this movie!

When pipes get shot during a gunfight in the brewery, Matt Helm takes a second to savor the situation, and decides to wet his whistle with some free suds! Not much later, he finds himself in a vat of beer with a Quintana who can't swim!

"The Ambushers" was never meant to be taken serious, and this scene involving a firing squad fumbling around looking for a match for their intended victim Matt Helm's last cigarette request could have just as easily been in a "Three Stooges" episode!!

The sensational Senta Berger is bad girl Francesca Madeiros!! Senta is still cooking today, and her career dates all the way back to 1950's German Krimi-Thrillers like "The Terror Of Doctor Mabuse!" Awesome!!

Some of the outfits these gals are wearing in this movie will flip your lid! Here's a prime example as Jose Ortega proceeds to remove some of Sheila Sommers' clothing by using his special anti-gravity magnetic ray gun that now apparently manages to work on anything, metal or not!

It's mainstream 1967, so there's no nudity in "The Ambushers" at all, nothing really close actually, but they didn't have a problem lining the walls of Jose Ortega's pad with paintings, not photos, of nude women, which I guess made it artistically okay! Still kind of crazy, if you ask me!

Dino rides off into the sunset with his girl of the moment Sheila Sommers, but even though they went through a lot together, Matt Helm's a free spirit and will be moving onto higher ground! You can just see it on his face!!

The closing scene features Dino and one last girl, and one last joke! The're listening to some of Dino's music, but she just can't get into the mood until a song by Frank Sinatra comes on! I bought the 4 disc set called "Matt Helm Lounge" on Amazon years ago, and it seems a bit pricey now, but I saw they stream "The Ambushers" for $2.99, and that's probably your best bet these days!


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Retro Hound said...

Love that there's a Dean Martin album in that last picture!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

The Dino album is some of that fastidious data we provide on a regular basis!

Tommy Ross said...

LOVE that screen shot you did their of the top of the beer factory and yes all first 3 Helm films are so great and under-rated. Great post, thanks!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

You're Welcome T.R. Glad you enjoyed it!

Grant said...

As much as I like escapist spy movies, the Dean Martin Matt Helm ones are something I like "in theory" more than "in practice." But I have always liked them in a casual way.

You're right about how strange a film THE SWIMMER is. It's pretty sad too, but it's one of Burt Lancaster's best roles.

Randall Landers said...

Love these Matt Helm movies. Dinos often driving around, no seatbelt on, drinking a martini and smoking a cigarette while playing with the gadgets in the car or the cute sexpot next to him. :)

Grant said...

I can never remember which one it's in (maybe it's the same scene Randall mentions), but I've always liked the inside joke where he's driving with a girl and turns on the radio to complete the mood, and it's playing a SINATRA song so he turns it back off!

Eegah!! said...

The Ratpack, what a bunch of jokers!

Doominer441 said...

God this movie sucked.

Eegah!! said...

But that's what makes it so good!!

Anonymous said...

I really liked Janice Rule in this. It was a little creepy how much she was "done wrong" over the course of the movie, but that made a few of her seems all the better -- A couple where she takes care of herself, killing off a man or two, saving Matt helm, etc.

That kind of made the ending all the more baffling to me. Matt Helm finally gets a chance to save her from something, and she clearly is grateful, and they have a ton of chemistry together...

And then suddenly the movie leaps ahead to Matt Helm "training" some sexy but kind of weird looking and sounding woman, and a joke I didn't get about whether she was a brunette or blonde.

Can someone please explain that ending to me?

Eegah!! said...

It's fairly simple Anon, the movie is essentially over the last time you see Janice Rule on the back of the bike with Matt Helm. The part with the blonde is just a setup for one last joke or two. She wasn't in the mood when Dean Martin music was playing on the stereo, but she gets turned on when Dean's Ratpack buddy Frank Sinatra starts crooning, and then Dean Calls Frank Perry Como! To me, it's nothing any more complicated than that!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes E&T, just a little note to sez our thanks for 'nother hugely honorin' Dino-post on Matt Helm in "The Ambushers." As we noted in our ilovedinomartin patter, yours is the only Ambushers post that we know of that shares patter and pix from the endin' of this swank silver screen epic....our most fav moments. Know our tremendous thanks for all of your efforts to spread delightful Dino-devotion as your awesome amazin' blog! Today ilovedinomartin is thrilled to have shared these particular Dino-efforts with our readership. We remain, Your in Dino, Dino Martin Peters

EEGAH!! said...

Thanx again for sharing DMP, and we're sure glad to be of service to the Dino community!

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes E&T we are powerfully pleased to have you be of service as youse sez to the Dino-community.

Anonymous said...

People forget... it is supposed to be Ludicrous, and silly... it is a COMEDY SPOOF!!!!! Intentionally....

I liked all of them... This one included. I do think they could have MADE this one better, it is a bit..."setty"...almost "made for TV".

TC said...

The first movie in the series, The Silencers (1966) was the one where he's driving with the heroine (I think it was Stella Stevens) sitting next to him, and she turns on the radio and we hear Frank Sinatra singing "Come Fly With Me." Helm grumbles, "Turn that off, it's awful." So she changes the station and we hear Dean singing "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime." Helm smiles and says, "Now there's a guy who can sing."

In the second one, Murderer's Row (also 1966), he is driving, and he opens a bottle of whiskey. Instead of booze, though, it has a recording with instructions from his boss (James Gregory), who explains, "I put the recording here because I knew it was the first place you would look."

EEGAH!! said...

Yep! What a bunch of tricksters!

Anonymous said...

The Ambushers may be the worst Matt Helm movie, but it is not the worst movie that Janice Rule ever made. Maybe she forgot about The Chase (1966).

At least the Helm movies, including The Ambushers, don't take themselves seriously. The Chase is a silly soap opera, but it pretends to be a serious drama.

Jim said...

This movie would have been even more fun if it was made a few years later when some gratuitous nudity could have been added. Senta Berger is a lifelong favorite and she looks especially great in this.

EEGAH!! said...

Senta always looks Great!!

Unknown said...

I feel Albert Salmi acting as the villian is great and cute in this movie and also very sexy as the general in a white suit.

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